Two New Exhibits on View: "Charles Hamilton Houston and the Harvard Law School" and "Centuries of Japanese Legal Tradition"

Historical & Special Collections is excited to announce two new exhibits on view, “Charles Hamilton Houston and the Harvard Law School" and "Centuries of Japanese Legal Tradition."

portrait of Charles Hamilton Houston by Gregory C. Stapko

Image credit: Charles Hamilton Houston by C. Gregory Stapko, 1977, HOLLIS olvwork368528

Known as “Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer,” Houston worked tirelessly to advance the cause of racial justice. Timed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Houston’s first year at HLS, the exhibit focuses on Houston’s time as a Harvard Law School student, and his lasting connection to HLS. Highlights include a full-sized portrait of Houston, and Houston’s signed copy of Black’s Law Dictionary on loan from Karolyne and Bryan A. Garner. This exhibit was curated by Karen Beck.


Centuries of Japanese Legal Tradition features rarely-seen treasures from the Japanese collection. Selected from over 300 items in the Library’s Historical & Special Collections, the exhibit features manuscripts, scrolls, illustrations, and printed books dating from the twelfth through nineteenth centuries. Highlights include beautiful medieval scrolls and illustrated manuscripts which document legal transactions and customs. This exhibit was curated by Sarah Wharton.

Both exhibits are open weekdays 9 to 5 in the Caspersen Room, Langdell Hall, through January 15, 2021.